So, lets just say I trained my butt off for this one and I was nervous and strangely excited to see what I could do. My coach always said we are training for 3 hours +/- 3 minutes. When I first got my training plan I looked at it and thought, holy crap, that is tough! I took one day at a time, one workout at a time and other than my little quad thing that kept me out of the 30k, training went well. I hit all of my workout paces, even the scary ones :). I was ecstatic to be going in healthy.
Staying healthy requires work, I have learned this the hard way. That should be another blog post but let's just say that I did my core, the myrtle routine, my post run stretching, and when needed went into to my sports chiro for muscle stim, etc.
I am constantly amazed at what the human body can be trained to do and what power the mind has.
My friend and teammate Mara offered to drive and it was nice to just be along for the ride.
We got down to Eugene around 1:30 and went to the expo.
|Mara and I at the expo|
|Ready to go!|
Tyler and I chilled, I facetimed with my kiddos and hubby and then it was bedtime. I actually slept pretty well. I was nervous but was not freaking out. I was going to run the best that I could on that day. There was really not anymore that I could do, right?
Race day: I actually got pretty good sleep :) I did not wake up every hour which is a good thing! Got up at 4:30 as we planned to be in the lobby at 5:50 to catch the shuttle
Did the usual pre race stuff. I always shower to wake myself up. Then there was the normal breakfast of oatmeal and a banana, while hydrating with water and gatorade. I should start keeping track of how much fluid I am taking in because while I feel like I cant drink anymore, I may need to revisit my fueling plan. You will see why later :) We met some other teammates in the lobby boarded the bus and we were on our way. I was fighting back some nerves but tried to stay calm and focused. We got to the start with plenty of time. Of course we went straight for the port-o-potties which had no line. Tyler and I hung together and were running in to a bunch of our teammates. Team Athena had a big presence at this race. Like huge actually! The support was amazing and I was looking forward to running with and being cheered on by them and my coach Nikki. If you were at the race I am sure you saw some of our girls. We walked around a bit and then decided it was time to shed our layers and check our bags. Then we headed for a little warmup but had to go to the bathroom again but this time the lines were huge! Lets just say that we did not wait because if we had we would have had no warmup and I have learned that warmup is essential. We were not the only ones finding an alternative to the port-o-potties. It is amazing how much shame I do not have when it comes to going to the bathroom and running. Ha! We probably did a mile warmup and saw the hill we would have to run around mile 9. We got back to the start line and the energy was amazing! The corrals were full and everyone was ready to go. Perfect timing for me because I do not like standing around at the start line getting nervous! We jumped into corral B and weaved our way to the front. They had a rope there separating us from corral A. All the girls were right there and I was so happy to see them. My training partner Nicole was there and I breathed a sigh of relief to have found her. They dropped the rope and so I felt like I could just stand with my girls. There were about 6 girls that I personally knew that were trying to run 3:00 or better so it was nice to have friends there feeling the same thing. Plus the added bonus of so many of my teammates running the 1/2. The 1/2 and full start together and stay together for 10.5 miles.
|Nervous smile :)|
Miles 1-5 ( 6:43,6:43,6:50,6:51,6:49)
The plan was to start out at 7:00 for the first couple of miles and then cut down to 6:50. Easier said than done! No one had mentioned that there were a few downhills in the first 2 miles. These miles were bliss. Some talking and lots of smiling. Amy, Nicole, Tyler(running the 1/2), and I were all together. Our own little Team Athena support group!
Miles 6-10 (6:43,6:36,6:41,6:46,6:40)
So cliche but the miles were flying by and everything was feeling great. I picked up a 1/2 banana at 7.5 and carries it until 9 at which point I ate it. I was alternating water and gatorade at the aid stations and at mile 9 Amy picked up her water bottle from the elite table and offered me some. Super helpful! Working together was so helpful, if only it could have lasted longer:)
Fueling- 9-1/2 banana, 13-1/2 banana, 18-honey stinger chews, 22-honey stinger chews, 24-bite of banana. Alternated water and gatorade at every aid station
Miles 11-15 (6:42,6:45,6:53,6:43,6:48)
I was feeling good and was sad to split from tyler at 10.5 but was so happy that she was having a great race! I picked up another 1/2 banana at 12.5( well actually I dropped the first one and had to stop to grab another one). Amy was a little bit ahead and I thought about running hard to get even with her but decided not to waste the energy. She was a couple steps ahead and that was ok. I ate that banana right after the half marker. Crossed the half in 1:28:31. Things were getting a big harder but I was hoping that that banana would kick in and everything would return back to status quo. Amy kept running strong and I was keeping pace but around mile 15 my stomach felt a little off and I remember thinking, "this is going to hurt."
Miles 16-20 (6:41,6:48,6:46,6:52,7:02)
You see the trend in my splits :) The course was beautiful and we passed Autzen stadium which was cool. Britt was also around 17 cheering. It was nice to have so much support on the course. At 18 I started hurting pretty bad, my stomach was nauseous and my legs were getting really heavy. I took 4 Honey Stinger chews and hoped that they would help. I kept plugging away and prayed that I was going to make it through. Mile 20 began the death march :)
Miles 21-26.2 (7:17,7:36,7:49,7:54,7:55,7:32,7:26)
|This was between 20 and 21, I was working hard!|
This was Tough!!!! I was running a mile at a time and was losing the battle. I was wishing that anyone would jump in and run with me. Mentally I was struggling and physically it felt like I was running a 10 minute mile. I couldn't think straight and don't even remember looking at my overall time much. Tyler had said that she would be at 24 and I was running to 24 not 26.2. I needed a boost as you can see from my splits, it got ugly. There were aid stations every mile for the last 10k and starting at 22, I started walking through the aid stations. Mentally this helped some but I knew I was just going to have to gut it out! Somehow I got to 24 but there was no Tyler, ugh!! At about 24.5 I saw Tyler and she was cheering for me, I wanted to be done and but I kept moving. (Come to find out she had thrown up after her race and still came back for me, that is a friend) At mile 25 Nikki (my coach), and my friend Nicole jumped in with me. I wish that I had a recording of the conversation between Nikki and I ! Basically I was trying to explain that I felt nauseous and she told me to stop wasting energy talking and move. She does know what to say to get me to move. She looked at her watch and told me if I wanted it, I was going to have to work for it.
You would think that I would be looking at my watch but I was pretty out of it and dont think I would have been able to figure it out anyway. I knew 3:00 was out but Nikki always said that I was training for 3:00 +/- 3 minutes. So I did not know what time it was but I kept pushing as hard as I could. I felt like a turtle but Nikki reassured me that I was running faster than I thought. Then there we were so close to the stadium and the crowds were amazing, so many teammates cheering, cowbells, it was energizing, at least enough to get me to the finish line. Turned onto the track and gave it all my legs had, which was not much :) Crossed the finish line in 3:02:50. A 10 minute PR from Seattle!
|Nikki pulling me through! Bless her!!|
|Turning onto Hayward field for the last 100 meters! Amazing!|
|Picture in the Eugene paper on Monday|
|Proof that I don't live in running clothes|
|What I look life in real life:)|
|Thankful for a husband who supports my running and my dreams!|